Fifty-nine per cent of Red Deer area businesses have had to make layoffs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and only eight per cent of those plan to fully rehire following the crisis, recent survey results show.
The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce circulated two surveys relating to the ongoing pandemic and the collapse of energy prices.
The surveys showed the significantly negative impact, the chamber says.
CEO Rick More says it’s important to gain an understanding of the impact the crisis has had on businesses.
“This data will be essential in ensuring our decision-makers are properly informed and understanding of the depth and degree of the challenges our businesses are facing in order to make the best possible policy choices to support the economic recovery of our region,” he said.
When asked about their ability to survive under current conditions (keeping in mind this was before Stage 1 of Alberta’s relaunch), 33 per cent of participants said they could remain open indefinitely.
Another 66 per cent said they could remain open for less than six months.
Over the next 12 months, 44 per cent of participants expected their business to contract, while another 46 per cent predicted them to stay about the same.
Ten per cent of participants predicted their business to expand.
The findings show 53 per cent of local businesses have used up their cash reserves because of the ongoing pandemic.
Seventy-three per cent of respondents said they believe the economic rebound will be slow after COVID-19 passes.
Answering how likely it is their business will continue to operate once the pandemic is over, 52 per cent said “very” likely. Another 34 per cent responded “somewhat” likely and 13 per cent were “not sure.”